Dealing with the pain of loss: A guide to coping

This is a collaborative post

Nothing hits you harder than losing somebody you love. Even if you’ve had months, or even years to prepare for the fact that the person you love isn’t going to be around for much longer, the moment they leave you can send your world crashing down and turn your life upside down.

It’s been almost six years since we lost Dad, and with me being seven months pregnant at the time, my grieving process was a difficult one. There are some things though that really did help though, and so I thought I would pass them on to anyone who may have recently lost somebody close.

Give yourself time

So many people feel that they have to put on a brave face and get back into the swing of things after the death of a loved one. The truth is that some people feel ready to resume normal day to day activities a lot sooner than others. There shouldn’t be a timeframe for recovery, and you certainly shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to get back to work or start socialising again within a set time period. Take every day as it comes, and give yourself time to heal. Dealing with death can hit you like a physical pain, and it can be incredibly difficult to see how you’re going to find ways to cope. If you are anxious, just know that time is a wonderful healer, and there is support out there.

 

Talk about how you feel

Bereavement affects us in very different ways. Some people are much more comfortable talking about their feelings and emotions than others. You don’t have to organise therapy sessions or find out about counselling services straight away, but it is good to talk. Even if you offload to a close friend or a family member who understands what you’re going through, this can help you to process what’s happened and to manage your emotions. When you’re vulnerable and weak, you need your friends and family around you, so make use of the network you have and don’t be afraid to get things off your chest. For more useful information about grief, and how it impacts us, it’s worth reading this article

 

Seek expert help

If you feel like you need advice, you’d like somebody to listen to you, or you’re struggling to cope – do seek expert advice. Bereavement can trigger depression, anxiety, and addiction. If you’ve turned to drink to get through the day or you feel like you’re alone and you can’t see a way through, there are people and organisations like the ARCProject.org.uk that are there to help you muddle through and realise that the future looks brighter. If you’re not feeling yourself, you’ve become withdrawn, or you’re worried about how your habits or your behaviour are affecting your well-being or your relationships with others, don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

Keep the memories alive

When you first lose somebody, it can be incredibly tough to even listen to a song or look at a photograph without feeling like a huge wave of grief and sadness has enveloped you. As you get stronger and time passes, take steps to celebrate that person’s life and take pride and joy in the memories you have. Talk about that person and what they meant to you and try to remember the good times.

 

When you lose somebody you love, you may feel like you’re going to be sad forever. It can be incredibly challenging to deal with death, but life does go on, and with time, support and the right advice, you will pull through. 

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